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Vision 2030 group recommends names for Halls new trail system
Suggestions include Foothills Trail, Foothills Greenway and Highlands to Islands
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Transportation meeting

What: Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Committee

When: 10 a.m. Tuesday

Where: Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville

Contact: 770-297-2625

Hall County’s burgeoning trail system may get a new name and logo this week, as officials hope to stir interest in area pedestrian and bicycling pathways.

The Vision 2030 Green Space Committee, which is pushing what has been called the “Hall County Trails Initiative,” plans to present suggested names and logos Tuesday to the Gainesville-Hall Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Committee.

The MPO is the Hall area’s lead transportation planning agency and the policy committee, made up of top elected officials, is its decision-making arm.

The Vision 2030 group particularly is pushing “Foothills Trail,” but also is pitching “Foothills Greenway” and “Highlands to Islands” as suggestions. The group is tweaking the logos for Tuesday’s presentation.

“We think that having an overall, consistent brand will be very important because it will help people navigate the trail ... and it will be more aesthetically pleasing to have consistent signage around the whole thing,” said Phil Bonelli, a committee member helping to lead the effort.

“Also, in order to accomplish a really great, comprehensive trail network, it will take lots of funding,” he said. “A lot of trails we’ve looked at in different communities ... have a lot of private funding.

“To begin to raise different dollars to help the overall trail open sooner, we want to have a consistent brand we can promote.”

Work is underway on the Central Hall Multi-use Trail, running along Ga. 13/Atlanta Highway between Palmour Drive in Gainesville and Lanier Technical College and the University of North Georgia-Gainesville in Oakwood.

Much of the work, passing motorists likely have noticed, is taking place in the historic Chicopee Mill Village off Ga. 13.

Jody Woodall, Hall road projects manager, has said he expects a ceremony of some kind to mark completion of the work, expected in September.

“We’ll do a ribbon-cutting and that kind of thing,” he said.

Gainesville’s Midtown Greenway already is in place from just south of Jesse Jewell Parkway to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Grove and Pine streets.

Eventually, it could extend east to E.E. Butler Parkway and south to Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport and the Central Hall trail.

“It’s just a little logo and a name,” Bonelli said of the Vision 2030 group’s efforts. “But we’ve spent a whole lot of time doing a lot of brainstorming to come up with some new concepts, because there are big plans for a great trail that would be a really good and unifying thing for the community.”

He said he “really gets excited thinking about a couple years down the road riding my bike with my kids on this great trail and seeing signs all over and as little emblems on garbage cans.”

MPO director Srikanth Yamala said that when the organization completed an update to the bicycle/pedestrian plan last year — one that identified $146 million in projects — “we didn’t want to come up with a name and everything ... we wanted to include some local champions.

“And the (Vision 2030 group) definitely took this on upon themselves. ... These guys need to finalize (the name and logo) so they can start spreading the word, raise some money and get people all excited and ready for the grand opening.”